Speaker/Equipment Placement

I am in the process of rearranging my 2-channel setup in my study.

From an audiophile perspective, is it preferrable to have nothing in-between the speakers?

Thanks in advance.
"From an audiophile perspective, is it preferrable to have nothing in-between the speakers?"

Definely preferrable, as it add depth to the soundstage.
It is preferable but it is not a disaster if you do have something in between so long as it is not too tall and too close to the speaker to cause major reflection.
I tried a bunch of different setups after moving into new digs two years ago -- equipment in between, equipment rack off to the side, moving everything to another wall and then trying both again. You get the idea. I always ended up enjoying the music most with the rack somewhere other than between the loudspeakers. This may vary if you can get the speakers well off the wall, but as I'm limited to two to three feet, it always made a difference to get the space between them clear of stuff. This has been true, by the way, with four different pairs of speakers and with a few different electronic setups.
Keeping everything away from the speakers is the best approach, but reality says otherwise! Isolating the components is good, but don't put them in a location where standing waves form such as a corner. If the components have to go between the speakers try to keep them as far behind the front plane of the speakers as possible. Most box speaker only radiate the midrange on up (which you are most concerned with for this discussion) from the front so things behind the front plane have minimal effect. Dipoles or omnis are another story and keeping the equipment away is the best thing for them.
Two considerations - effect on the speakers and effect on the components.

As noted, to "optimize" your sonics, you may want to avoid placing components in the middle between your speakers. This is more important if you include any video device (yes, even with 2-channel) because the screens are so reflective. But you must also realize that even a front-facing dynamic speaker transmits sound to the rear and the mid-point of the wall behind the speakers will be second only to corners for bass loading. This energy can induce vibrations which will not be beneficial to your electronics.

As a general rule, bass nodes build up at even fraction dimensions in a room; 1/2, 1/4, 1/6, etc. Bass waves are less for the odd dimension fractions; 1/3, 1/5, 1/7, etc. This is one reason for the unofficial "rule of thirds" for speaker placement.

Therefore I would consider experimenting with odd dimension placement for speakers (distance out from front and side walls), listening position (rear and side walls), and equipment (any wall, although the rack or stand is likely to be placed close to a wall; so for sonics and access I would place it out 12-18" if you have room).

Good luck.
I highly recommend Jim Smith's book " Get Better Sound" which answers this question and many more. Long story short he is adamant that the rack not go between the speakers.

BTW there is a thread on the book with many positive reviews running now.
Never put your turntable between the speakers. Find a way to keep it completely out of the direct and indirect sound waves. You will be surprised on how much the table rig will 'ring', all parts of it.
Also...don't place the rack DIRECTLY IN FRONT of a speaker(as some like to do).
Thanks very much for all for your comments and suggestions. I have seen Jim Smith's book recommended several times in these forums. I will definitely check it out.

While reality demands that I integrate my music and home theater into the existing household environments, I look forward to someday having a dedicated listening area- without compromise.
Well that would be really unreal right?